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Church BBQ in South Central

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Church BBQ in South Central

paddy | Sep 14, 2004 02:24 PM

The Prayer Assembly Church of God in Christ, on El Segundo Blvd at Avalon.

This place only opens Fridays and Saturdays, but boy is it worth the trip. Takeout only.

This is the Church that was built by barbecue! Well, by the proceeds forthcoming.

It was very biblical experience. In pursuit of a radio story, I was guided into the depths of South Central by a pillar of cloud, well, a cloud of barbecue smoke, anyhow.

I interviewed a Pastor Clevester Williams, who says that 60 years ago, while he was halfway through building his church, God came to him in a vision and told him to open a barbecue joint and raise the money required with the proceeds.

And he did.

The barbecue is nothing short of sublime. The pastor, doesn't cook himself. He has a chef for that, a seven-foot giant with hands as big as the slabs of ribs that he cooks, called Big Jack. Thoroughly appropriate. Jack cooks everything in four huge pits, two of which are made out of recycled water pipes. He uses oak and mesquite. Everything is cooked from fresh in the pits. No ovens, no boiling, no rub, no basting during the cooking. Magic.

The patrons love this place. You get a shed load of food, it's cheap, and they feel the food has been blessed. Certainly tasted like it.

Pork ribs - tender, pink-rimed, perfect resistance to the toothy tug. delectable
Beef brisket - like butter.
I didn't have any links
Chicken - mpmi. and its easty to see why. outstanding. none of that dry, overcooked taste. slightly smoky, tender and moist. I coulda eaten three.
Turkey necks. mimi and the pastors fave (he's from arkansas) I've never had these before, and I'm not a huge fan now, but they were quite tasty and not at all unpleasant. felt weird gnawing on them, though. rather bony and not much meat, imho.

The sauce was spicy, but not too hot. A secret recipe, again delivered by God, but this time to the pastor's wife.

It has to be the friendliest takeout I've ever seen. The servers smile and laugh constantly, and they are thoroughly efficient, yet scrupulously polite, I can't wait to go back.

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